October 22, 2013

Wall heater thought to cause house fire in Murray

Rachel Brown
rachelbrown@daltoncitizen.com

— Firefighters believe a wall heater was to blame for a home that caught fire in Murray County Monday morning, damaging the inside of the house.

Murray County Fire Chief Dwayne Bain said the fire started around 8 a.m. on Corvette Drive, which is in the Springdale Estates Subdivision. Bain said no one was home at the time, and authorities as of Monday afternoon hadn’t been able to contact the homeowner, a man believed to be in his 60s.

Bain said this is the first fire this season that appears to have started from an electric wall heater, and he wants to caution residents to be careful when using the devices. The heaters, he said, are totally safe only when they are not hooked up to electricity, which sometimes requires flipping a breaker switch.

“If the home goes below a certain temperature, like 40 degrees inside, those heaters will kick on,” he said. “Just because you have the thermostat shut off doesn’t mean it’s safe.”

Bain said he believes the temperature in the house likely dipped low enough to cause the heater to come on, causing something nearby to overheat and catch the house on fire.

He said there was significant internal damage to the house.